Another newbie seeking turbo trainer info!

steveinnorthants

Über Member
Hi all, apologies, but another thread asking some questions on turbo trainers. I have spent the last week or so researching on the web and e-bay but still have a few specific questions I am hoping you experts will be able to help with.

I fancy a smart turbo trainer, or one I can link to Zwift, as I think I will get bored of a classic style. I know I can enhance a classic trainer by adding a speed/cadence sensor and still connect to Zwift etc. That was my intention but am concerned I will quickly outgrow that and want a smart trainer. What I am pondering over is:
(a) the need (and hassle) to buy and switch the tyre (or buy a second wheel/tyre and cassette) - would an upgrade to a direct drive unit be worth it?
(b) For direct drive I still need to buy a cassette, chain whip and tool to install it, but seems less hassle switching with this set up.
(c) If I go down that route, will my gears need adjusting each time I put the bike back on the road wheel?
(d) My wife has a hybrid, with an 8 sprocket shimano cassette (same number as my road bike but different group sets). Could they both run on the same 8 sprocket cassette on the trainer?
(e) For a bit more I could get a smart unit which changes resistance based on terrain, but is that enhancement worth the cost?
(f) If a go with a smart unit, say a Tacx Flux (as thats about the top of my budget) do I need any extras to get on Zwift (apart from the recommended fan, top bar cover etc - I have the necessary laptop/phone/screen). Have heard about ANT dongles and that some lower end smart trainers still need sensors.

The indecision is doing my head in, and I know that even if I decide I may struggle to find what I am after in stock! Many thanks.
 

DCLane

Found in the Yorkshire hills ...
Some thoughts;

a) With the turbo we had my son didn't bother switching the tyre. A decent road tyre was fine.
b) if you've got a smart trainer you will need to add the cassette unless it comes with one, which some do. It'll need the cassette and the lockring tool, that's all.
c) I doubt it. It should be set up the same.
d) Yes. It'll need spacers. We run 11 speed though.
e) Can't advise here as ours doesn't - it's an Elite Zumo
f) You will still need to connect the smart turbo to something. An ANT dongle connects as the turbo needs to transmit data. Ours is connected by a cable to the PC and we run Zwift on the PC.
 
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Elybazza61

Veteran
If you are going on zwift then a diect drive smart trainer is the way to go , especially one with ant/bluetooth as this will work directly with zwift;so the only items you'll need are an iPad/laptop and ideally a fan of some sort.

If you are both on 8-speed you'll need a cassette as most trainers (if supplied) will come with 11 or 12 speed these days; however some direct mount trainers are not officially compatible with 8-speed but it can be got around with spacers but this may invalidate any warranty issues. Also apparently some Shimano cassettes still don't work properly so people have used SRAM ones instead.
 
Hi all, apologies, but another thread asking some questions on turbo trainers. I have spent the last week or so researching on the web and e-bay but still have a few specific questions I am hoping you experts will be able to help with.

I fancy a smart turbo trainer, or one I can link to Zwift, as I think I will get bored of a classic style. I know I can enhance a classic trainer by adding a speed/cadence sensor and still connect to Zwift etc. That was my intention but am concerned I will quickly outgrow that and want a smart trainer. What I am pondering over is:
(a) the need (and hassle) to buy and switch the tyre (or buy a second wheel/tyre and cassette) - would an upgrade to a direct drive unit be worth it?
(b) For direct drive I still need to buy a cassette, chain whip and tool to install it, but seems less hassle switching with this set up.
(c) If I go down that route, will my gears need adjusting each time I put the bike back on the road wheel?
(d) My wife has a hybrid, with an 8 sprocket shimano cassette (same number as my road bike but different group sets). Could they both run on the same 8 sprocket cassette on the trainer?
(e) For a bit more I could get a smart unit which changes resistance based on terrain, but is that enhancement worth the cost?
(f) If a go with a smart unit, say a Tacx Flux (as thats about the top of my budget) do I need any extras to get on Zwift (apart from the recommended fan, top bar cover etc - I have the necessary laptop/phone/screen). Have heard about ANT dongles and that some lower end smart trainers still need sensors.

The indecision is doing my head in, and I know that even if I decide I may struggle to find what I am after in stock! Many thanks.
a) For me it was/is
b) some dd trainers come with a cassette like my Elite Suito (If its an 8speed bike though you will need a cassette and spacers)
c) I never touch my gears, in fact in an ERG work out I never use them (the Smart turbo automatically changes the resistance to achieve the desired power)
d) Both bikes are 8sp if a DD turbo is set up to that there's no problem with switching bikes. I do that with my bikes which are both 11sp. If its a wheel on trainer as long as it the sane size of wheel (700c) the speed doesnt matter.
e) for me it has been worth it but the Suito is a relatively cheap DD and there's now the cheaper Zumo.
f) you need an Ant + dongle if you are running Zwift of a PC/ Laptop. If you are running it off your phone the built in blue tooth dongle will pick the trainer up and you dont (as long as the trainer is bluetooth)
You may want a Heart Rate Monitor but that isn't compulsory (again if its Ant+ you need a dongle, if its a bluetooth HRM you dont).
A Fan is not compulsory but will help a lot.
A sweat guard is helpful too
A front wheel riser is preferable too if it doesn come in the box (the Suito had one).
Depending on your flooring you may need a mat (sweaty carpet xx()
If its not DD a turbo tyre saves your good tyre and should be a bit quieter.
 

si_c

Veteran
Location
Wirral
As noted above if you get a direct drive trainer then it should be cross compatible between two bikes with the same number of sprockets at the back - maybe a quarter turn of a the adjuster on the derailleur if the gears aren't perfectly smooth - but it's usually just drop on and go.

If you're using an iPad for Zwift then you need nothing else - pretty much all direct drive trainers use bluetooth so that's a non-issue. The Flux is a very good unit, I've got one but the alternatives by other brands such as Elite or Wahoo are equally good. The differences are small and usually related to how much power a trainer can resist or the gradient it can simulate.

If you're after an immersive experience and don't think you'll be looking to train for high powered sprints when racing then any direct drive trainer within your budget is likely to make you happy.
 

Mattk50

MattK50
Location
Herts
I need to upgrade my dumb trainer. Aren't the direct drive trainers more hassle than just plonking your wheel into a fluid trainer? Although I guess I still have to change my wheel/tyre when going out for a ride. Also, which are more space saving? I need to upgrade my dumb elite chrono and don't mind spending up to say 750 quid.
 
OP
S

steveinnorthants

Über Member
Thanks guys, decided on a tacx flow and am delighted with it so far (it arrived yesterday). Have had a couple rides on zwift and am loving that - some much more immersive than just pedalling listening to music!!
 
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